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History of the Home

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One of Thomasville's most historic homes, the Magnolia Leaf features authentic Greek Revival architecture.

The Magnolia Leaf was originally built in 1897, on what was then the edge of Thomasville. The house was the principal structure on a large acreage and the neighborhood that surrounds the home takes its name from the home’s original owner, Eli M. Mallette.  In 2019, the neighborhood was declared a historic district—the Mallette Heights Historic District.

Owner Doby L. Flowers purchased The Magnolia Leaf in 1993, carefully preserving the rooms and decorating them with an eclectic mix of art and furnishings collected throughout her travels. 

Today, its 6,000+sf play host to guests from around the world. Each stay is custom-designed.

Meet our Proprietress, Doby Flowers

Doby Flowers
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A trailblazer, Civil Rights leader and expert in community relations, Doby L. Flowers has received many awards and recognitions throughout her career including being honored with New York City’s “Woman of Distinction” award.

As a young woman, Doby enrolled at Florida State in 1967 and earned her Bachelor's degree in 1971 and a Master's in 1973. Doby’s history making moment at the university came in 1970 when she was elected FSU's first African-American Homecoming Queen.


After earning two degrees from Florida State University and a certificate in Executive Management from Harvard University, Flowers worked for high-profile mayoral administrations in Boston and New York.

After leaving public service, Doby was hired by W. R. Grace & Company and became the first global African American executive, where she established the Executive Development Department.

Doby is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and was the first African American Greek female student and the first member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at Florida State University. 

Most recently, she founded “The Magnolia Leaf Bed and Breakfast” in Thomasville, Ga., where she provides a place for women business leaders from Florida to organize retreats, network and learn.


Today, the bronze likenesses of Doby and her brother, Attorney Fred H. Flowers (first African American athlete at Florida State University), grace the center of FSU’s campus as the “Integration Statue.”  The Integration Statue is an enduring testimony to their achievements as civil rights pioneers at Florida State University.

Continuing to give and be involved, Doby and her brother, Attorney Fred H. Flowers, co-founded the Florida State University Civil Rights Institute to further the betterment of society through research, civic actions, and public education through the Arts.

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